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Old 02-11-2010, 11:00 PM   #1
scrapaddict
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What is longest lasting convertible car seat?

Hi, I need advice on buying a convertible car seat for my almost 6 month old. My first daughter was/is very tall and we ended up buying 6 seats for her including her infant carrier because she kept growing out of them. Because my first daughter was born in 2003 those seats are all getting ready to expire so I need to get something different for my second daughter. I need the one that will give me the most height because she is also very tall. I went to BRUS tonight and had my 6 1/2 year sit in them and it appeared that the Evenflo Symphony would give us the most height. I had pretty much figured I would get a Britax because I knew they were rated the best but it was shorter than the Evenflo. The Evenflo was out of stock until tomorrow so I left without a seat and decided to do some reading because I don't know anything about that brand. Found this site and from what I can tell the Britax seats are suppose to last longer? So now I am confused. I didn't even think to look at where the straps fell, only compared where her head was at the top of each seat. Now I don't know what to do? I also plan on rear facing as long as possible. They are having a great trade-in discount that I really need to take advantage of. All comments will be greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-11-2010, 11:33 PM   #2
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Re: What is longest lasting convertible car seat?

I believe that the Radian and First Years True have the tallest shells, but I don't think these two seats are regularly found at BRU. I think the Symphony has a shorter shell. I know Britax seats definitely has a shorter shell and lower harness heights. My just turned 5 DS outgrew the Britax seat before he turned 5, but still has about an inch of torso growing room in the Radian.

The Radian has either a 40lb or 45lb rear-facing seat (depending on the specific model) so it's the seat that will last the longest rear-facing. I'm not sure if you have heard the recommendations to keep children in rear-facing car seats longer. If you need more information, let us know.

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Old 02-11-2010, 11:39 PM   #3
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Re: What is longest lasting convertible car seat?

Have you looked at the new Sunshine Kids RadianSL? It can RF up to 45lbs and FF up to 80lbs (and53").It also expires after 7 or 8 years. I'll clarify this date a little later when I look in my manual.

But, you should find a place that has them in stock locally, as the shell is tall, so you wanna make sure it can fit in your vehicle okay.

If you have a buybuybaby near you, they sell Radians.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:52 PM   #4
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Re: What is longest lasting convertible car seat?

Britax use to be in a class of their own, but are not anymore. Other companies have improved their seats.

Another seat to look at is the Complete Air. Bru usually carries it. It rf to 40# and ff to 50#. Very tall shell.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:39 AM   #5
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Re: What is longest lasting convertible car seat?

There's not exactly last longest anymore -b/c several of the ones people here recommend will all give similar growth room: Learning Curve True Fit, Graco MyRide, Evenflo Triumph Advance. The Sunshine Kids Radians will last longer - but also can be a difficult seat to install, and takes up a lot of room rear facing. But it does have the tallest shell and highest harness height of any of the convertible seats. And if you get an XTSL it has a whopping 45lbs rear facing weight limit. So scout around baby boutiques and try and find that one, its not at BRU (at least not in the stores, usually). You could also purchase one online and get return insurance or there is a site that has return insurance for free (diapers.com or elitecarseats.com I can't remember which) or buy from walmart.com or Target.com and return in the store (read the fine print to make sure they allow it).

All the other seats you should be able to find in a brick and mortar store - and BRU should have most of them. Britax used to be the be all end all in car seats, they're really not anymore, as the shells are shorter than some other seats (like the Evenflo Triumph Advance(EFTA) and True Fit(TF)), and the Britax convertible seats don't give older kids as much leg room rear facing as the other seats mentioned. They are still among the easiest to install, but the TF, EFTA, and MyRide all go in pretty easily, too.

If you tell us your child's height/weight and what vehicle(s) the seat will be used in, the CPSTs can better help you figure out which will work best for you. The most important thing, regardless of which seat you choose: keep that baby rear facing as long as possible, which you are already aware of.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:13 AM   #6
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Re: What is longest lasting convertible car seat?

The Symphony is a plenty nice seat, though to warn you the LATCH anchors are incompatible in a whole host of cars. It lasts a good long time for a seat with its weight limits, and actually does position the belt well as a booster, though it's rather high. (I tried it just the other day on my 40 lb.-ish almost-6 year old in booster mode in the store.) I know a lot of parents who are happy with it.

The longest-lasting rear-facing convertible seat you're going to find in-store at Babies R Us is the Complete Air. It has such a tall shell that it will seriously get even tall kids to 40 lbs. rear-facing by height, and forward-facing will get every kid to 50 by height, too. It should get even most taller kids to a safe booster age and weight. My almost-6 year old has been rear-facing in it and is about ready to go full-time to a booster, straight from rear-facing (though she is not the tallest of my kids, and is skinny, so that's not typical of ALL kids for sure.)
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